Topic description / abstract:
Despite intense recent scrutiny in the nascent field of Social Neuroscience, the neural mechanisms of empathy are still far from clear. In my talk, I will review recent neuroimaging research on affect sharing, a key component of empathy. I will predominantly focus on the opportunities and limitations offered by recent methodological advances, pharmacological manipulations and multivariate analysis techniques, and how they may contribute to a better understanding of the nature of shared affective representations between self and other.
Claus Lamm is Professor of Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, and Vice Dean for Research at the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Vienna. He has been one of the pioneers in the neuroscientific investigation of empathy and prosocial behavior. In his research, he uses a wide array of neuroscientific and experimental psychological methods to understand what enables us to feel what others are feeling, and how this is related to prosocial as well as moral behaviors.